tv [untitled] July 6, 2012 12:30pm-1:00pm PDT
the budget and finance committee, and that is definitely a focus for me in the coming year. we are also looking at how it is that we continue to have systemic gaps in our budget year after year. what are the reasons for that? what are the cost drivers that might be driving it? what are the not-controllable economic conditions that drive that? part of the issue will be pension reform. that is something that i think is on the minds of many people, not only in san francisco, but elsewhere around the nation, and it certainly will be a topic here as we look at how it is we can control some of our costs and understand where our trajectory of our budget deficit is going to be. certainly, the budget is not simply a numbers issue. it has a big impact when you translate it into the lives of our residents. when you are talking about deficits that may impact the morning commute because you write muni -- you ride muni, or
whether we're talking about closing down seven facilities, or whether we're talking about impacts to services, there is an impact to residents, so i think that impact of the budget is big, as well as economic growth for our residents. >> what are the biggest issues for your district? supervisor chu: sunset district is a great district. it has many residents who are families. we have a lot of families in our district. lots of kids, lots of seniors, people who have raised their families there for many generations, and one of the paramount thing is, aside from the larger issues that are important to the entire city -- i think the big issue that is really in people's minds is the state of the economy. how is it that we are going to be able to bring down the unemployment rate in san francisco? how is it that we can have sustainable job growth in different sectors in san francisco? how is it that our future generations -- our kids and use
-- are trained so they are able to take advantage of what is emerging -- our kids and youth. weather is the health care industry and other things that might be looking rosier -- whether it is the health care industry and other things that might be looking rosier in terms of job activity. >> how will you balance the needs of your district against the needs of the city as a whole? >> -- supervisor chu: a lot of people ask that question. they ask how you can be an effective supervisor and have the city's overall interests in mind, but the thing people often lose is the fact that what is good for the city often times is good for our residents as well. if we are seeing huge economic uncertainty or recessions that are impacting, let's say, the downtown core where many of our businesses are located, that has a huge impact on my residents who are commuting downtown for work every day. i do not think that is so much
about balancing one over the other, and it is not always whether one has a different side or a different perspective. i think that being able to watch over the city's interests, making sure we have a good economy, strong foundation overall, is a benefit to the residents in my district as well as other places. the balance between city-wide interest and district residents sometimes are not as far as people think. >> once again, the city is faced with tough budget decisions, including where to make cuts and where to increase taxes and fees. how will you approach these difficult choices? supervisor chu: we know that our budget deficit is a significant one. at the moment, blooms are around $380 million -- at the moment, it looms around $380 million. we could not meet that gap. i think the city needs to take a balanced approach, and if you take a look at previous years,
we have taken a look at things like where are fee revenues, what do those look like? where are the changes in other revenue pictures, whether it is transfer tax or hotel tax or other things that help to improve the picture. in addition to that, how is it that we can really control some of our expenses? i think that in order to address the $380 million budget deficit, we really have to take a look at both sides, revenue side as well as the cost side of things, and i think there are certain things that the city can do right now that might that not impact this year's budget or -- that might not impact this year's budget for next year's budget but will have a long-term effect. i mean pension reform and some of the ways we calculate those liabilities. those will be important topics to think about as we go forward. >> what are the city's housing needs, and what do you think the board of supervisors should be doing to address those? supervisor chu: it is no secret -- you talk to any person on the street, and people recognize
generally that it is expensive to live in san francisco. standard of living for cost of living is a little bit higher here. housing prices are a little bit higher. i think that we have done or we have focused on a city very much on providing housing for very low-income residents in san francisco, and there is always more to do in that area, but one area we really should begin to look at is also what are we doing for middle-income housing? the creation of middle-income housing. what are we doing to provide opportunities for families who would like to stay in san francisco? are we doing the types of homes that are actually workable for someone who is the two-income earner in the family? i think that is the next area to look at for housing. >> tell us about the
transportation situation in your district. is there adequate muni service? is there parking and traffic? >> -- supervisor chu: traffic issues are always big ones. pedestrian safety issues. it is not any different. we as a district have 19th avenue cutting right through our residential areas. that is a state highway. we have 80,000 cars that go by every single day. traffic issues are always a big concern for us in the district. aside from that, we also know that there really does need to be more improvements in the muni system. we are served primarily by a few rail lines and bus lines, and much like other districts who have been impacted by different service changes across the years, we have seen, for example, early turn back in our district, and we are working to resolve that issue. for many people, being let out at sunset boulevard is simply not acceptable when you have
many more blocks to go before the end of the line. there is definitely big rooms for improvement with transportation in our district. >> what about crime in your district? how do you think the police department is doing, and how do you think the city is doing in general with respect to crime? supervisor chu: i know we have been acting chief at this moment and the police commission is working to try to find an individual who can step in and lead the department. we know there are many things going in the right direction with the police department, but there is a lot of things to work on. technology is something we really need to focus on and make investments in in order to allow our police forces to be more effective, to be able to communicate more clearly with other law-enforcement agencies. that is something that we do need to work on. with regards to crime in the district, i would say that our district is more impacted by a
lot of property crime. we see many cars being broken into. many quality of life issues -- graffiti. we see cars being stolen, those kinds of issues. we do have other kinds of incidences. shootings that might have occurred, but they are not as frequent. our quality of life issues and burglary issues are more prevalent. with some of the recent changes with the police department to get investigators out to the district stations, i think that has been a big improvement and will help focus some of the investigators' time to deal with crimes that people might not think our high impact, but have a big footprint in terms of our district's crime rates. but governor brown has proposed -- >> governor brown has proposed redevelopment agencies. hawhat are your thoughts on tha?
supervisor chu: we currently have plans that really are dependent on having the development agencies and the financing mechanisms that helped it. i think that the redevelopment agency plays a very strong role in the development in some of our more blighted areas. to completely do away with the redevelopment agency would be a significant shock and change to the system, and i think we really need to understand what that will be before it should happen. i am a strong believer that the redevelopment agency played a strong will also in the creation of affordable housing in this city. to the extent that that money is taken away and we are not able to accomplish some of those goals with the financing mechanism, it would be a big step back for the city. >> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? are we on the right track? what would you like to change
about the city's approach to developing the economy? supervisor chu: in some aspects, our economic development is on the right track. if you take a look at some of the successes -- mission bay, for example, has been a success where we have been able to attract biotech corporations to come and headquartere in the city. we are currently building a hospital, and there are a lot of research institutions, and i think that will be a great anchor for the city. the city has worked closely with contractors to figure out how we can do hiring locally. this is through our citybuild program where we help individuals gain the skills needed to work in construction jobs. we have a number of big projects that are really generating the job growth and place for people to be working. so i think that in terms of the
pace and number of projects that we have, in terms of identifying some key sectors to attract, in terms of providing rebates for films to come and fill in san francisco and generate additional moneys -- that is something that is a movement in the right direction. we need to work on how we do a job training in san francisco. there are many different departments and many different players, and how it is where we train our work force, whether it is youth as a community, people preparing to train for different jobs -- we have a lot of folks involved, and we did not yet have a centralized way of doing it and making sure we are targeting the right sectors. so i think we have got some work to do in that area. >> talk about the role of sports in the city's economic future. are you happy with plans for the america's cup? do you think the city should spend money to keep the 49ers?
supervisor chu: america's cup has the potential to serve as an economic engine for us. we knew that going in, and that is why it was such an important effort on the city's part, to bring that activity to san francisco. not only would it result in improvements on the pier that we were not able to afford any other way, but it helps to bring about jobs, people coming to visit, helping with our tourism industry, everything else associated with having a major event in the city. that is something that helps bring up the economic opportunities of a community, and that is very important. if you think about the role of sports in san francisco, we have to think about the giants and how amazing that whole experience was for us in terms of the world series. we had people in my district as we were coming in for the parade on muni. everybody was dressed in giants
colors. everybody was in such an elated mood. everybody was brought together, no matter what ethnicity, what community, what neighborhood, what socio-economic place you were from. people were excited and happy. that is something that is very unique to sports, that sports can pull people together. very much in the same way, the 49ers are an important part of the community and san francisco 's identity, and i would love to do what we can to help them today. >> if you have a lot of projects in your district that you are excited about. can you share any information about the goings on in your district? supervisor chu: our district again has so many families, and we think about how we plan for the future and make sure that the next generation has the amenities that we do not have right now, and we have got a new poll that has recently opened up that we are so happy about -- we have a new pool that has
recently opened up that we are so happy about. it is already well utilize. we have two playgrounds currently in the process of being remodeled in addition to a brand-new library that is opening up. we are very excited about what this means for the many kids and families who use the library, go to the parks and plate, and who really just utilize those public services. there are many exciting changes, and we are happy to see them open up. >> what is the playground remodel? what does that look like? supervisor chu: we have playgrounds that were built so many years ago that had our senate in the wood, if you can imagine that. some of the swing sets were breaking apart. we have stand still, some people would find broken glass and other things in the sand, so with the remodel, we are seeing completely new equipment being
placed on the playgrounds. the new rubberized services, which gets away at the broken glass and other things people might find in the sand. there are so many kids in the district that i think everyone will benefit and see the changes as a positive. >> are there any other issues that concern you that we have not discussed? for a specific interest you plan to concentrate on through your term as supervisor -- or a specific interest you plan to concentrate on? supervisor chu: this year is going to be budget, budget, budget, and i think that will keep us pretty full. >> we have to wrap up, and we thank you for joining us on "meet your district supervisor." watch for the next episode of "meet your district supervisor" when we will be back with another of our 11 city supervisors.
thank you for joining supervisor kim: thank you for having me. >> tell us where he grew up. supervisor kim: i grew up on the new york city. my parents immigrated to the u.s. i actually started becoming active in the community in high school. ed i went to stanford. -- i went to stanford. when i graduated, i move to san francisco. my first job, i started working developing economic policies for low-income communities statewide in california. i worked with young people, parents, families are around issues that concern our neighborhoods, whether it was communities, affordable housing, public schools, or just planning
issues in neighborhoods like parks. i did that and actually ran for the board of education here in san francisco. i got a term on the school board working for families in our public school system and actually worked for the lawyers community and i came to the board of supervisors. >> why did you choose to live in san francisco? supervisor kim: you know, i do not know if i have a good answer for that. i just wanted to try it out. >> tell me what motivated your interest in politics. supervisor kim: that is a tough question to answer. i never had any intention to get involved in the electoral process. >> really? supervisor kim: i was always politically active. i was always working on
statewide initiatives, and i worked on several campaigns. i worked as an organizer. i did not really have an interest in an electoral process, because -- i just have this perception the process was 30, and when i went to the ballot to vote, it looked like i was taking the better of two evils. i did not have a strong interest. working as an organizer, you get to know issues surrounding budget for schools or housing, and i began to see people were really accessible and some had started working with the community and we got more and more engaged. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? supervisor kim: i think i definitely fall on the left. >> was there anything surprising
about the campaign process? supervisor kim: it was my third campaign running for office. i ran for the school board twice before. in many ways, i was already -- i already knew what i had signed myself up for. it was physically grueling, emotionally grueling, really tiring. the one thing i enjoyed was i got to know voters and residents. you do not really get to do that when you run citywide. i enjoyed campaigning more because i had time to meet voters individually, and i loved it. i really enjoyed being out on the field. i spent all lot of time doing it. which i thought was important -- both for me because i get a deeper understanding of what people care about, and what
people loved about the district and the city, and i think it was better for our community that i was out there one on one. >> what are the biggest issues for san francisco right now? supervisor kim: economic development. that is the biggest issue for san francisco and the country. our economy is not in the best place that it could be. we really do see that people want to see more jobs for everybody. second, it is probably a myriad of issues. for our district, and think public safety issues -- ranging from low-level crime to larger public safety issues. we held our first hearing on pedestrian public safety in district 6. we learned that san francisco has the highest rate of vehicle pedestrian collisions in the state of california, our rate
that is higher than tokyo, london, other major cities. a costs are taxpayers every time we go to the hospital. we can do better. other cities are doing better than we are. that is an important issue we have the highest rate in the city, and you're probably higher than any other city. " we have spent on pedestrian safety over the last four years is close to $13 million. >> how to balance the needs of the district compared to the city? supervisor kim: it is interesting representing a district and a collection of
neighborhoods. for me, it is interesting because i represent the city of san francisco. i mean you represent those who live in the district. i care very deeply about what is going on in terms of racial tension between asian and african american communities in the bayview or whether we're talking about muni were talking about public safety issues in other neighborhoods -- i think it is important for me to support the issue's going around the neighborhood. i think most san francisco residents do not identify themselves by their district. >> once again, the city is faced with tough budget decisions, including whether to raise taxes and fees or whether to make cuts.
how will your approach these choices? supervisor kim: the budget is tough this year. even though our deficit is not as large as it has been, it is tough because we have made these cuts already, and did this point, we are cutting things we really do not want to cut. and it is painful. we will lose more potential services. we will also not be able to support our residents. we are looking at weekend meals for seniors. it is painful. i think we have to look at it as a combined approach. it has to be cut within city government that we can bear -- services that are less essential. second, you have to look at raising revenue in the city.
i think it needs to be a combination. and third, need to be much better informed, and we have to ask our public employees to look at the budget. and they already have, but also to look back. it is a threefold approach to me. >> what are the city's housing needs him much of the board of supervisors to to address them? supervisor kim: it is tough, because we depend on the market to build housing for our residents we build at over 150% of the need. we are building over the need of the market rates. we are actually building at roughly 80% of that need. so, not bad, but not great. a lot of that has happened through the work of the board of supervisors, negotiating with
developers to develop very low income housing for individuals who were formerly homeless. but as you start to look at the categories, a lower income and middle income folks, we're not building for that need at all. i think we need to do more to make sure we are supporting that type of housing. one initiative i started working on was a student teacher housing which is directly in that income, essential employee housing. we will be releasing an rfp, which is really exciting, because we want to keep people engaged. we have to push for more.
need to pass another affordable housing bond. it has come up two more times, and i hope we have the political will to support that again. >> what are your ideas about dealing with the issue of homelessness? supervisor kim: homelessness is a tough issue. we have amazing organizations that run incredible centers and services, and also supports the board of housing for the formerly homeless. not just providing housing, but safe housing and services -- whether it is job training for drug rehab or mental health. there are two categories of homelessness. this is on the end of been able to afford to live in san francisco. that live paycheck to paycheck. when they do not get that next
paycheck, they could be homeless the next week on that level, we need to continue to support economic development, support job creation, small businesses, the act would create 60% to 70% of the jobs in san francisco. we need to push legislation white -- like local hire, which is supervisor avalos's legislation. we demand that companies hire folks from our city. that is one end. we have to do what we can use to subsidize other essential services, whether it is transportation or public health, so people can afford to live in the city. then you have another category of homelessness, which is chronic homelessness. it is not just living paycheck to paycheck, but other issues
like mental health or drug addiction. that is a much harder population to address. i think -- the district that i represent as many of the community organizations. it continues to be a pressing problem. >> where do you think the attics and mentally ill will go? supervisor kim: first of all, a ton of families live in the tenderloin. people do not realize this, but the tenderloin is a family neighborhood. it in not a proponent for cleaning up the tenderloin. i love the tenderloin. i love what it is right now. you know, i recognize that we have a diversity of folks who